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Lord of the Flies: Analysis of Themes and Its Relevance to Today’s Society

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2010 10:03 PM
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LORD OF THE FLIES: ANALYSIS OF THEMES AND ITS RELEVANCE TO TODAY’S SOCIETY

Lord of the flies was William Golding’s first published novel and since its appearance in 1954, it has become one of his best known works. Golding was forty-three years old when he wrote the novel with the aid of his experience serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Thus his experience in world war has influenced him to produce such a masterpiece that earned him Nobel Prize in 1983 (Johnston, 1980, p.54). In many works Golding has revealed the dark places of human heart, when isolated individuals or small groups are pushed into extreme situations. His work is characterized by exploration of 'the darkness of man's heart', deep spiritual and ethical questions. Similarly, Lord of the flies is a gripping story a group of small British boys stranded on a desert island lapse into violence after they have lost all adult guidance. The story describes a group of children, who are evacuated from Britain because of a nuclear war. Their airplane crashes on an uninhabited island, and all the adults are killed. The boys create their own society, which gradually degenerates from democratic, rational, and moral community to tyrannical and cruel. The older boys take control, a boy called Piggy, who is asthmatic and nearsighted, becomes a target of teasing and torment. Leaders emerge out of different ideologies, two of the older boys get killed, and they begin to hunt another, just as a ship arrives for rescue. Despite all that, Lord of the flies is more than a story about stranded British school boys, it is an allegory piece of writing where characters, setting, objects, and plot stand for a meaning outside of the story itself. Golding illustrates an abstract meaning by using concrete images in his novel. Therefore this paper aims to identify the themes in Lord of the flies and discuss their relevance in today’s society.
First and foremost, the major theme of the novel is civilization...

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